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Saturday, May 10, 2008

traveling virgins _ article

From Art to Activism: A History of Images in Movement

In this essay, María Rosa Jijón demonstrates how an artist-turned-immigrant can foray into the realm of activism without abandoning the working premises of symbolic production. The essay offers a perspective on the new political subject of our era, an era characterized by the mobility of people and capital resulting from the macroeconomic policies that affect the greater part of the world. It is an autobiographical journey that analyzes the opened channels of communication and the new forms of representation employed by social organizations struggling for the rights of immigrant workers and their families. Film, video, photography, writing—forums that previously served only art—are enriched by new content, lives and stories that come straight from the source and facilitate the political processes of social justice. Italy, a country with a colonialist past, refuses to accept its new multi-ethnic, pluricultural image and appeals to a fixed identity, a stereotype that has been superseded, having never truly existed in the first place. It is against this backdrop that organizations of first and second generation Italians are appearing and, in the face of prejudice, inventing new mechanisms of cultural transformation. more